DISCLAIMER: Much to my chagrin, I don't own any of these characters. Property of SHED Productions.
AUTHOR'S NOTE: Written as part of the Alphabet Soup Challenge.
ARCHIVING: Only with the permission of the author.

Anatomy of a Look
By coolbyrne


I had full intentions of taking you to task over your latest display of innate stubbornness in view of my staff, but when I walk into your cell and see the glower you give me, I feel my resolve weakening, though I bet not for the reasons you'd think. Oh, I'm sure that hard stare of Nikki Wade has made mere mortals –and women in particular, no doubt- quake in their boots and hastily retreat to rethink their options. But I have a dark secret I wouldn't dare share with you at this moment, if ever; not if I wanted to win an argument against you ever again. I don't quake in my boots, but my knees certainly do go weak.

There's just something about the way your brows go down as the corners of your mouth do the same, as if they're connected by taut strings of displeasure. A straight vertical line forms between your brows and the deeper the indent, the deeper I am in the shit. Soft brown eyes that are so often filled with compassion and forgiveness seem to crystallize into hard shields that forbid anyone from looking in. I know it's only my imagination, but this seems to spread across your features, where normally soft lines and edges become sharp and angular. It's almost a silent warning –an attempt to get close might lead to injury to the person so foolish enough to approach you.

But you know when it comes to you, I just can't help myself, can I?

It doesn't help that the downturn of your mouth pushes your lips out ever so slightly, forming what must look like an intimidating snarl to others, but only looks like a dangerous invitation to me. I've kissed those lips in the past, and there's a memory on my own every time I look at your mouth. Suddenly, I see a corner of your mouth twitch up and your lips move. This new addition to The Glower startles me and my auditory senses come back as your words weave their way past my reverie before my thoughts can go in a lower direction. What did you say?

"Helen," the single word finally reaches me.

I discover it's not the word but the way it's spoken –playful with a hint of teasing, and I realize I wasn't the only one doing the surreptitious examination. I try to hastily fabricate my own stern defense, but it's too late. Your eyes are soft again and smiling. I'm caught. Well, it wasn't a tactic I had considered using, but I suppose I'll take my victories over you where I can get them.

The End

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